🌿 Cannabis & COVID-19 🌿canabodial
Welcome back to our weekly newsletter, which outlines recent cannabis news you need to know about related to entrepreneurship, finance, legal, medicine, science, and technology.
Join us for a live CannaGather Digital: Cannabis & COVID-19 on March 19 by RSVP’ing (required) for free here. What is the impact of this global pandemic on the cannabis industry? Find out what COVID- 19 means for business today, tomorrow, and beyond from industry leaders.
We’ll connect coasts live with Jamie Pearson (CEO, Bhang Corp), Seun Adedeji (CEO, Elev8 Cannabis), and Nick Kovacevich ( CEO, KushCo) for a special Social-Distancing certified CannaGather Digital Experience with CannaGather’s own Josh Weinstein & Rico Lamitte! If you’d like to speak at, sponsor, or otherwise collaborate on a future CannaGather Digital, email Josh Weinstein or Rico Lamitte.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming: Retailers take preventative measures in response to coronavirus. Tilray sells stock for less than $50 per share. Two bills focused on cannabis for military veterans were approved by a congressional committee. The NFL ends player suspensions for positive marijuana tests. New studies find that cannabis has promising potential in the treatment of tumors.
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Be sure to join us at a CannaGather in your city, where we continue to network and explore the latest progress in our communities as the reach of cannabis increases.
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// CannaGather Calendar
March 19 // CannaGather Digital
April 15 // Orange County, CA // Cannabis & Autism
April 21 // New York, NY // April CannaGather
April 29 // New Haven, CT // State of the State: Update on the CT Medical Marijuana Program
April 29 // Denver, CO // The State of the Industry in 4/20
April 30 // Detroit, MI // Introduction to Hemp with Adam Rosenberg
Coronavirus Update: Cannabis Retailers Take Preventative Measures
As coronavirus spreads throughout the U.S., many shops are seeing customers rush to stock up on products. Cannabis retailers must take preventative measures to keep employees and customers safe. Marijuana Business Daily reports some of the major approaches that cannabusinesses have taken to in response to the crisis:
- Increase social distancing and sanitation
- Prioritize medical marijuana patients
- Encourage online ordering, home delivery, and drive-through purchases
PharmaCann’s director of regulatory and public affairs said of the current state of affairs, “We prioritize medical patients first and foremost, and if that means having to modify how we do adult-use sales, then we’ll do that.”
Colorado’s largest cannabis retailer Native Roots is following guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some additional measures include:
- Enhanced cleaning and sterilizing of high-touch objects and surfaces
- Frequent hand-washing protocols for employees
- Close monitoring of all persons coming in and out of its facilities
Massachusetts-based Theory Wellness has implemented other safety measures:
- A gloved doorman opens doors for customers
- Several times per hour, employees wash surfaces with disinfectant
- Budtenders are no longer allowed to offer customers a sample whiff of product
- The number of people in the stores and waiting areas is limited
- The company also is encouraging people to preorder so they don’t have to spend as much time in the store
What this means and why you care: Entrepreneurs must adapt to the coronavirus outbreak in unprecedented ways. These methods from major cannabis companies can be used as a model during this time.
Tilray Sells Stock for Less Than $5 Per Share
On Friday, cannabis firm Tilray reported a $90.4 million stock offering at less than $5 per share. As reported by Marijuana Business Daily, the company “priced 7.25 million class 2 common shares – and 11.75 million prefunded warrants to purchase common shares – at $4.76 per share,” which is a 20% discount after the preceding closing price of $5.95. The S&P 500 index has dropped 10.2% in the past year, while shares in Tilray have fallen 94%.
Speaking to Market Watch, Tilray indicated that the coronavirus pandemic has had additional impacts on their financial health, and their recent financing serves to build up the company during these hard times. “Given unprecedented stock market conditions amidst concern over coronavirus, today’s financing has strengthened Tilray’s balance sheet and de-risked the company’s pathway to being [earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization] positive by [the fourth quarter of] 2020.”
Despite the stock decline, Tilray remains in good spirits, reporting in a regulatory filing that “[they intend] to continue to expend significant funds to increase [their] growing capacity, complete strategic mergers and acquisitions, invest in research and development, expand [their] marketing and sales operations to increase [their] base of registered patients and meet the compliance requirements as a public company.”
What this means and why you care: This could be an additional blow to other cannabis companies in need of a cash infusion, with the stock market in a state of turmoil. According to an MKM Partners analyst, “Tilray’s raise suggests fellow cannabis producers…face a tough market amid a dire need for cash” and that “other weed companies will also face substantially dilutive terms at below current pricing levels.”
Cannabis for Military Veterans
Both bills approved by the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee set up the expansion of access to medical marijuana for veterans, while also increasing cannabis research related to conditions such as chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The Veterans Equal Access Act (approved 15-11) would give the go-ahead to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to recommend medical cannabis in states where it is legal. The VA Medical Cannabis Research Act (approved by voice vote) would ensure that the VA holds clinical trials related to cannabis and how it can help treat common conditions for veterans.
“This is the culmination of the tremendous work of our movement, but we will not be finished until this becomes the law of the land. We must reform our federal cannabis policy,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).
What this means and why you care: It is important that cannabis legislation to help veterans is passed. Too many American vets suffer from PTSD and other disorders, and cannabis could provide a critical and safe option for potential relief.
// Medicine, Science, & Technology
Treating Tumors with Cannabis
Results from a European Journal of Pharmacology review “indicate that cannabinoids reduce the tumour growth in animal models of [glioblastoma multiforme], even after accounting for publication bias.”
A study suggested that “by modulating expression of shared key cancer-driving genes, CBD could represent a promising nontoxic therapeutic for treating tumors of various origins.”
Researchers found that “in addition to the symptomatic therapy of cancer patients, the antitumor effects of cannabinoids (whether in monotherapy or in combination with other cancer therapies) have promising potential in the treatment of cancer patients.”
What This Means and Why You Care: Major studies continue to identify cannabis as a potential source for the treatment of tumors. New opportunities for patients to benefit from cannabis will take form as studies are conducted and legalization expands.
Breaking Barriers in Connecticut
CannaGather Connecticut hosted an important event last week centered on medical marijuana producer and research firm CTPharma and their quest for medical cannabis to meet American expectations. CEO Tom Schultz and COO & Co-Founder Rino Ferrarese joined the night as keynote speakers.
Tom is a Wall Street lawyer and investment banker turned pharmaceutical executive. In 2013, he became president of CTPharma. Tom is president of Connecticut’s medical cannabis producers’ association and founder and president of the Canaan Foundation, which works on technology transfer initiatives for local schools in Kenya and Cameroon.
Rino has experience as a compliance officer working in FDA-regulated industries for prescription, OTC, and homeopathic drug products. He is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt (ASQ) and an ISO auditor, and has successfully worked with clients across the U.S. to draft cannabis license proposals in competitive bid applications. Mr. Ferrarese also speaks nationally on topics related to cannabis and co-authors columns for the Cannabis Business Times.
Would you like to become a sponsor of our weekly Leaflet? Email me for more information.
Do you want to join the CannaGather team? We would love to have you on board as we grow! You can email CannaGather founder Josh Weinstein at email@example.com for more info.
Written by Justin Bernstein
Contribution by Michela Proto